The 2019 AFA Conference demonstrated a new-found momentum for unity across the advice and financial services sector.
Unity was the theme of this Conference and it was manifested in a number of ways for the more than 500 delegates, including:
- The attendance of FPA CEO, Dante De Gori for the duration of the Conference. This is the first occasion on which the FPA CEO has attended the AFA Conference.
- The presentation of the four annual adviser Awards at a single event – the gala Conference dinner, rather than at separate events conducted by the individual sponsors (see: 2019 AFA Adviser Award Winners & …2019 AFA Adviser of the Year)
- A public commitment made by the CEOs and executive team management of four insurers: MLC Life Insurance, Zurich, AIA Australia and TAL, to collaborate to the extent allowable under law to drive process and other efficiencies for the benefit of advisers and their clients
Another critical and recurring message at the Conference related to the issue of unintended consequences.
This issue was raised with Assistant Minister, Senator Jane Hume, following her address to delegates on the first day of the Conference.
We’re actually seeing an increase in the number of people applying …to become financial advisers
In response to a question from Riskinfo about the potential unintended consequences of regulatory reform leading to fewer advisers delivering less advice to less Australians, Senator Hume – while acknowledging the challenges facing some advisers to achieve the new minimum standards – nonetheless pointed out that the number of registered advisers ha2 increased by 40 percent since 2009:
“We’re actually seeing an increase in the number of people applying …to become financial advisers because they can see that this is a profession that they admire and that they want to get into….”
The Senator also assured advisers that her Government is listening to their concerns and that they are taking those concerns onboard.
Highlights of the Conference included quality and relevant presentations from keynote speakers including former Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, UK advice business best practice consultant, Michelle Hoskin, wine industry entrepreneur, Warren Randall, ethicist, Clare Payne and Thai caves rescue hero, Dr Richard Harris.
A broad array of topics and issues relevant to advisers and advice businesses was also made available to delegates in the form of other presentations, ‘Meet the Professionals’ and ‘Meet the Innovators’ opportunities.
Relevant content was complemented by a variety of official and unofficial social events which offered more networking opportunities for delegates during a time when sharing views on current issues proved of value to many.